Master planned communities (MPCs) have enjoyed increasing popularity in Australia since the 1950s. Based on a concept that originated in Los Angeles, MPCs are satellite communities outside of the CBD that are equipped with their own lifestyle amenities, such as shops, schools, restaurants and recreational parklands.
Australia’s first MPC was “Castlecrag” in Sydney, designed in 1925 by architect Walter Burley Griffin, who also designed Canberra.
Although nearly a century old, Griffin’s concept of a Master Planned Community still resonates with today’s buyers, who value a strong sense of community and access to key lifestyle attributes.
Through decades of experience as one of Queensland’s leading developers, QM Properties have identified the top ten most desirable attributes that buyers look for in a planned suburb.
“This is the shopping list for buyers that we have developed over our 35 years of building great Australian communities,” said QM Properties Sales Manager Damien Ross
Living in a community that has already benefitted from the NBN rollout is highly desirable for families with school-aged children, and is essential for those running home offices. With Gen X and Y’s love of Xboxes, Internet surfing and online streaming, they want access to the fastest download speeds available.
“The residents of our Jimboomba Woods estate already enjoy high-speed NBN connectivity, as do our colleagues at the Jimboomba Home and Land Centre. They have faster internet than we have at our head office in Brisbane’s CBD!” said Damien.
2. Access to Education
Education facilities are a key priority for growing families with school-aged children, as well as university students. Close proximity to education hubs not only adds future value to a property, it can also ensure a place in the catchment zone of top state schools. For example, Burpengary State Secondary College, the newly opened Queensland Private Public Partnership School located across the road from QM’s The Village at Burpengary estate, offers courses in robotics, laser cutting, CAD and plastic manufacturing, and enjoys the same NBN coverage as the estate
Central Lakes estate at Caboolture has close access to five state and private schools, as well as a TAFE and QUT’s Caboolture campus.
3. Buyers love a water view
A large portion of buyers can’t go past land with water views, whether it be lakeside, riverside or bayside. Traditionally, master planned communities are land locked, due the scarcity of coastal land, so man-made lakes and canals that are the focal point of the community are a growing trend. QM Properties’ communities of Sandstone Lakes, Central Lakes, River Retreat and Pacific Harbour offer water views to suit a range of budgets, with land on the Brisbane River available from $199,900.
4. Bike Paths and Walking Trails
Access to bike paths and walking trails has proven to be a popular community feature with buyers, who see these outdoor exercise options as key to an active lifestyle.
“Buyers want to be able to walk or cycle to shops, restaurants and cafes safely,” said Damien. “They also enjoy being able to exercise outdoors without having to dodge traffic.”
The Jimboomba Woods development team have been consulting with the Jimboomba Walking Club to construct a safe and attractive walking trail leading to the Birnam ranges that will offer panoramic views of the surrounding bushland.
Residents of Central Lakes in Caboolture enjoy 48 hectares of environmental parkland, which includes nature trails, bicycle tracks, and picnic and BBQ areas on the banks of a 3-hectare lake. The final release of premium, lakefront land at Central Lakes is now available, and is priced from just $235,000.
5. Local infrastructure
Neighbourhood shopping centres are important, not just for keeping the pantry full, but also as a leisure amenity and community meeting point.
“Shopping centres are the ‘Village Green’ of the 21st century. They serve a basic purpose for grocery shopping, but are also a meeting point for residents of all age groups,” said Damien.
The Coffee Club at the Central Lakes Shopping Village is often frequented by the residents of Central Lakes, which is just across the road. Equally popular destinations within the complex are Dominos, Wok Me and Subway – which all offer locals a convenient alternative to cooking at home.
Central Lakes Shopping Village also features a Priceline Pharmacy, bottle shop and a Woolworths. Statistically, residents will do their major shop at a mega centre such as Westfield Chermside or Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, but weekly top-ups are made easier with access to convenience centres like those available to the residents of Central Lakes, Coomera Retreat and Pacific Cove.
6. Neighbourhood Watch
Neighbourhood Watch initiatives give residents a true feeling of community. QM Properties worked closely with the Queensland Police Service to set up the Neighbourhood Watch in the Central Lakes estate. The group is made up of community minded citizens who volunteer their time to keep their neighbours and properties safe. Focal watch points are homes within the community, vehicles and public recreation areas.
7. Quality Building Covenants
Building Covenants ensure that the high standard of a community is maintained and that buyers’ investments are protected. Covenants are in place in all of QM Properties’ communities, assuring buyers that their properties will retain their value. Residents of QM communities also benefit from a landscape rebate to help them get a head start on landscaping the gardens of their new home.
8. Green Spaces
QM Properties works with leading landscapers to ensure that their communities are abundant with immaculately manicured green spaces.
Visitors to a QM community are greeted with modern entry statements, tree-lined streets, and well-maintained parklands, and with the help of the QM Landscape rebate, all of the residents’ gardens are presented at a high standard.
9. Parks, Playgrounds and Recreational Areas
Recreational areas with lookouts, barbeques, picnic shelters and playgrounds are high on buyers’ check lists.
“Playgrounds are becoming like mini theme parks for children, and ‘big kids’ as well,” said Damien.
The Urban Play adventure playground, recently installed in the 3 hectare District Park at Jimboomba Woods, features state of the art play equipment with the highest level of safety standards, and has become a key meeting point for the local kids – and the adults!
10. MPCs are Good Quality Neighbourhoods
Those who choose to buy into MPCs tend to find plenty of likeminded residents with whom they can find common ground. The sense of community that develops between residents results in the enjoyment of events such as Australia Day street parties, Easter Egg Hunts, Christmas drinks, Grand Final Day barbeques and other neighbourhood social events.
“The quality of other buyers and residents in a community is also seen as integral to the high long-term increase in the value of a property,” said Damien.